Kerala reels under sizzling heat
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala is reeling under an intense heat wave with mercury scaling up in most places across the state making the drinking water and electricity crunch all the more grim.
Palakkad district recorded an unusually high temperature of 39 degree Celsius today followed by Punalur 38 degree Celsius, according to Indian Meteorological Department here.
The state's normal maximum temperature in April is 34.1 degree Celsius and it is likely to increase this year, said K Santhosh, Director, IMD centre here.
"The state used to register a normal maximum temperature of 34.2 degree Celsius in March, 34.1 in April and 32.9 in May. This year an average increase of 1.5 degree Celsius has been registered in the temperature compared to that of the last year," Santhosh told a news agency.
Three persons suffered sunstroke, two of them at Punalur in Kollam and one Palakkad since yesterday.
While Kottayam (RB) recorded 37 degree Celsius today, Kochi (CIAL) and Vellanikkara in Thrissur registered 36 degree Celsius. State capital Thiruvananthapuram registered 35 degree Celsius while Alappuza recorded the lowest in the maximum temperature -- 33 degree Celsius.
Drinking water shortage had been reported from many places in the state with even public water supply sources turning dry. Reports from across the state said the situation in rural and semi-urban areas is more severe with water in wells in homesteads and public places hitting rock bottom.
A state that relies heavily on hydro-electricity, Kerala is facing a severe power crunch due to shortage in monsoon rainfall last season.
One hour loadshedding, half of which during the night, has been in force in the state since January on account of yawning gap between production and demand.
With storage in hydel reservoirs fast depleting, the state has been managing with heavy overdrawal from the central pool and other sources at higher prices.
In some relief, however, the state received isolated rainfalls in many places yesterday and today and it is expected to continue in the coming days, the official added.